HEALTH CARE, SENIOR & LIFE SCIENCES P lato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This proverb had never been more poignant than in 2020, when the pandemic sent a shockwave throughout the health care and construction indus- tries, demanding innovations and new concepts that could quickly and effectively limit the spread of infectious disease. Unprecedented events in life can amplify the best and worst of a system and this was no different. The need for criti- cal, emergency attention around a novel, worldwide virus to care for patients in a new way became imperative, and these industries had no other choice but to figure out how to adapt. More than two years later, we’ve discovered that certain ideas have stuck, but many did not provide longevity when it came to setting a new standard in today’s “new nor- mal” in health care. Now, more than ever, there is a call to arms for con- struction profes- sionals in health care to rely heavily on the foundational concepts that proved to effectively mitigate infec- tion control during the construction process. From the harsh reality of hospital- acquired infections and combat- ing them through inventive design techniques, to adapting guidelines for the design and construction of health care facilities in a “post- COVID” era, health care construc- tion professionals are prompted to re-evaluate their roles in assisting health care providers to identify the best possible caretaking approaches and outcomes for their patients, from design inception to patient care. n A lesser-known evil: Hospital- acquired infections. The pandemic acutely exposed areas of improve- ment within health care, so much so that the Journal of the American Medical Association has provided several key lessons for the industry at large, such as preparedness for unexpected increases in demand for services, the implementation of mental health support for health- care workers and equity in health care. When thinking of a hospital, many typically envision a safe, sanitary space to be taken care of when ill or injured, with frequent check-ins from a health care profes- sional. This is a general assumption when imagining a hospital envi- ronment, but in fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 2 million people develop hospital-acquired infec- tions yearly and of those 2 million people, 110,000 patients will not survive their HAI. The CDC estimates approximately Please see Construction, Page 16 Health care construction: Reducing risk, HAIs in post-COVID era INSIDE Focus on tenant improvement contributions when comparing rents Design is moving away from an institutional approach to be more holistic Life science rents Senior living PAGE 10 PAGE 13 The sleep lab bedroom should be a relaxing, homelike environment Sleep lab design PAGE 7 October 2022 Chris Stolzer Senior vice president, Kiewit Building Group Contractors can help health care professionals stop the spread of hospital-acquired infections.